Post-Match Quotes | ATL vs HOU - Gressel

Post-Match Quotes | ATL vs HOU

  • Match: Atlanta United vs Houston Dynamo
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Date: July 17, 2019
  • Final Score: ATL 5-0 HOU (Recap | Highlights)

Atlanta United Head Coach Frank de Boer

On the win:

“I think you can say, of course the red card helps, always, but I think you also remember the Red Bulls game. We didn’t play at that moment like this so that’s a good step that we made. I think we also started very well against 11, first we had the chance with Josef (Martinez) and then another chance, and of course they had one good chance. I think we were really into it from the first second, the game start, I had a really good feeling about that, and it also continues when we play against 10. We were concentrated, every time we didn’t give them the rest, we were good, in shape, and organized. Every time, we could almost get pressure on them and, of course, they will always escape one or two tackles. Still, I gave them a compliment, how they played and concentrated. Even after 3-0 or 4-0, they still did what we asked them to do and you see they create also a lot of chances.”

On 3-5-2 formation:

“You take everything into consideration, that’s normal. Today was really good, and, of course, again, we were expecting to wait what we’re going to see if we really play against 11 men. We started really offensive, and this is also what United want and the fans. We will see in the future. We’ve also played some good games in 4-3-3. Slowly everybody’s coming back, Barco’s (Ezequiel Barco) close, Bello’s (George Bello) close. I can make those decisions in what formation we can play that we still have the best possibility to win against each opponent.”

On increased number of forward runs:

“I think this formation helped also against 10 men. We had our width with Dion (Pereira) and (Julian Gressel). Darlington Nagbe’s runs behind, Michael Parkhurst made those runs, and this is what you want. You have to make unselfish runs, sometimes, you get it, and sometimes, you don’t, but you will distract the opponent. Two times, we made runs, Brandon Vazquez came free on the ten position and had two shots. This is what you want to see, lots of movement and the guy on the ball decide who gets the ball. It may be that the guy who makes the first run normally doesn’t get it because everyone is focusing on him, so it’s better to give it to the second or third man or fourth man.”

On Emerson Hyndman’s role:

“I love when people are knocking at the door and want to be involved in the team and he’s certainly knocking. That’s good for me, I have to make those choices, and I took him out because he didn’t play that many games, you don’t want to rush him and get an unnecessary injury. I’m pleased with his performance, and I think still he can do better, and I think this is a good start for him. If he can contribute more, but that counts for everybody, but I’m happy with his performance.”

On defensive pressure and Pity Martinez’s effort:

“There are moments that there’s nothing you can do, but there are moments when we are in good shape and we expect everyone to do the thing. These are other moments that are the right moment to press, and I will say Pity (Martinez) is no Brandon Vazquez, and Brandon Vazquez is no Josef Martinez, but there are certain things that everyone has to do. I think if you saw Pity entering, you saw the same energy that Brandon gave, and this is what everyone wants to see, not only from Pity, but from everybody.”

On the team’s aggressiveness:

“We were really talking about it in previous meetings about how we’re going to approach this game and we want to be the aggressor. We want to show – not only here, but I think also (when we are) away – that we want to dominate. We have to make the first action, and we did today. We were really focusing on that and they executed well.”

On Dion Pereira’s development:

“I think still he can be stronger, but he’s still young. These kinds of games are good for him to get in the rhythm and understand the game, and what we expect from him. I think he can look back at a good performance, it’s good that he’s showing his quality. I know I have no doubt I put Justin Meram in, or I put Dion, or (Ezequiel) Barco, maybe when he comes back. It’s nice to have those options. I think he can still do much better, especially physically. If I see his body, he has so much to gain, and he knows that I want it from him, and he’s really working hard for it, and that’s paid off for right now.”

On Julian Gressel playing out on the wing:

“Yeah, I think that it was more suitable for him, because he likes to run, make crosses and he has a good (feel) of the moment. Always his first control, and then he knows where Josef (Martinez) is, and that’s a good combination. I knew that, but sometimes you think, ‘OK, you have to choose between two choices’, and sometimes, it’s more beneficial for the team to put him in the midfield, where I also think he did well. I think his position is on the right side, that’s for sure.”

On Mo Adam’s performance:

“You saw directly what his quality in chasing guys. He’s fast, and he’s mobile. It’s nice to have fresh legs in the end of the game. Comfortable on the ball. Nice debut, feel for the turf, for the stadium, and hopefully, he can contribute. I already said to him, ‘We are involved in two competitions still.’ Two games away from hopefully winning something. Also close for playoffs, we can lose everything, we can also have a fantastic season, and he can be a part of that, so hopefully, he will.”

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan

On the win:

We talked about regardless of the performance (that) we needed to win. We’re not a club that loses and ties. The atmosphere the last couple of days has been about finding ways to get results. Of course, the red card was in our favor tonight and changed the game, but it didn’t matter. We still needed to get the job done, and we did.”

On the team’s confidence:

We didn’t necessarily need a game like this, but (we needed) a win. It’s good to get a result like this at home, but we have another one on Sunday.

On closing out the game:

There were still moments in the second half where we were still too loose. We concede little things. When you have a team in Houston like we had tonight, you just want to keep going. It was good. The result was good, and the performance certainly was good. You can talk about the first play of the game where we get after them in a good way and 30 seconds in, we’ve got a chance. Those are moments that we need to build on and continue to push forward.”

On the team’s defense:

Of course the red card changes the game. Fortunately, tonight, it was in our favor. A few weeks ago, that wasn’t the case. I thought the guys did well. Brandon (Vazquez) was very good in terms of his ability to close their players down and make it hard on them to find the next pass. Dion (Pereira) was good in terms of competing out on the wing for us. The red card changes the game a little bit so it’s hard to get a grasp on how great or poor it was.”

Atlanta United FC midfielder Julian Gressel 

On the result:

“We just needed a win, and to have it happen in a dominating fashion like that is good. The red card helps, but I thought our mentality was good from the start. So, it felt really good tonight.”

On ‘bouncing back’ after the last few results:

“I mean, a win ultimately feels good no matter what. Obviously, we haven’t felt that in a little unfortunately, but to come out today and really have it in the bag. Not having to wait (until) the last second, it just feels good to get that feeling again. That feeling that we had in the past year. We would be on top and really just keep pushing against other teams at home. That feels good.”

On what was working:

“Obviously, the red card helps where we have a man up. I still thought we were patient. We moved the ball side to side. We had runners in the box to put in crosses. We created more chances. We adjusted to it before the game, knowing our injury and suspension situation. I thought it worked well, and we ultimately come away with a convincing win.”

On Darlington Nagbe scoring on his first shot on goal:

“That’s 100% efficiency right (laughs). He was in a good spot like that. I know we had one like that last year that got taken away, cause of offside, I think. So, today, he ran over to me, and he actually said “Finally man” to me. Feels good for him to get on the score sheet.”

On tonight being used as a momentum builder after a tough stretch:

“Yeah, we hope so. We can only play the game that’s in front of us – the next one ahead. We did that tonight, now the next one is D.C. United. We feel good now, we want to carry that into that game and get another win at home against an Eastern Conference opponent. In that sense, it’s a bigger game. We can only really play the games that are in front of us, and tonight, we picked up three points. Hopefully, we can do that again Sunday.”

On playing a different position tonight than normally this season:

“I think it’s no secret I like to play out on the right as a wing back. I’m not shying away from any work you have to do with that. Did a lot of running tonight. Ultimately, you saw today that it gets me in pretty good spots down that right side. I think one of my best qualities is to pick out the right pass. Today, a couple came off. A couple others ones were good, where we didn’t score. But, whatever the coach thinks is the best approach to go into games, that’s where I’ll stand 100% behind him.”

Atlanta United FC midfielder Mo Adams

 On being traded to Atlanta:

“I think I found out a couple of days ago. At the moment, when I got told I was traded, I didn’t know it was to Atlanta specifically. Once I heard I was going to Atlanta, I was over the moon, of course. One of the team admins got in touch with me and said they would be flying me out. It all happened so quickly after that.”

On playing a versatile role:

“I classify myself as a versatile player and whatever the coach asks I’ll do to the best of my ability.”

On playing in today’s game:

“I think you’ve always got to be prepared. I just try to envision myself coming on and trying to be as mentally prepared as possible. Stepping on the field was a moment I’ll remember forever. They just said to be myself and play my game. One thing the coach said to me was to enjoy it.”

Atlanta United FC forward Brandon Vazquez

On his goal:

“Emerson (Hyndman) was in a good spot down the line and found Dion (Pereira) in the box. He went to the end line and all the defenders went with Josef (Martinez) at the front post. I stayed in the six, and the ball popped right to my head. It was an easy tap in at that point for me.”

On switching to the 3-5-2 formation:

“They way we were playing today. I think it helped us. I think we had a lot of opportunities because of that, and having a lot of players attacking plus having everybody come back to defend. I think that was really good today.”

On scoring five goals tonight:

“I think it shows that our team has a lot of depth. We have a lot of good players that can fill in spots and it doesn’t matter who is on the field, we can all perform and get the job done.”

On getting a decisive win tonight, in the middle of this busy stretch:

“We definitely needed to get our confidence back up. Last game was tough. I think this is what we needed, and it’s only up from here.”        

Atlanta United midfielder Darlington Nagbe

On his goal tonight:

“I do not remember the whole play, but I know Julian (Gressel) got the ball on the right side, a lot of guys had made some runs into the box, then I saw Julian cut it back, and I was able to put it in the net.”

On the 3-5-2 formation:

“I felt like everyone was comfortable. We went over it just briefly the day before the game, yesterday, and being down a defender kind of made us play three in the back, and we needed a response from the last game, so I think the response and playing that formation helped us.”

On the play of Julian Gressel:

“He did well. I think maybe his best quality is playing those final balls into the box to Josef (Martinez), and he gets his assist that way, so I thought he did a great job today.”

On his last goal:

“It was maybe a year and a half ago. I think I was still in Portland. Yeah, but I do not know which one it was, maybe against Vancouver (Whitecaps). I do not remember. It was a long time ago.”

On his reaction to scoring:

“It was just fun. I knew everyone was happy for me, so that made me happy, and the fact that we won the game. It felt good to help the team win.”

On trying to shoot more:

“If the opportunity presents itself, maybe, but if I see an open guy, I am the type of guy that always makes that pass, but hopefully, there is more to come.”

On scoring five goals without some key players:

“It was great. Obviously, (Houston Dynamo) getting a red card helped, but I think, sometimes, it is not as easy if the opponent gets a red card. I think today we took advantage of it, capitalized, and got more goals.”

On this performance helping the mentality of the team:

“It is a weird one, because I think we know that we are a good team. I think we all know that come playoff time we will be there, but I think the point is having good performances to be able to get into the playoffs, and I think today we took a stride in the right direction.”

On the red card:

“I do not know what happened. I was not able to see what happened.”

On being worried about Josef Martinez:

“No. He always gets up. He always gets up, so I am not worried when he goes down. Obviously, MVP of the league last year, and our MVP, so, hopefully, he is there for us every single game.”

On Josef Martinez’s second goal:

“He kind of had one like that when he broke the record last year versus Orlando City SC. He kind of took his time with it, patient, cut the goalie, and then finishes like he always does, but I thought it was a great goal and great job by him.”

On getting forward more tonight:

“It was the alignment and what Frank (de Boer) asked of me. Just get a little higher with the three in the back and Jeff (Larentowicz) kind of securing it and always having four in the back, so I was able to get a little higher.”

Atlanta United FC defender Leandro González Pirez

On the game:

“It was a strange game. After seven minutes, they go down a player. At the start of the game, we had our chances, but you saw the attitude of the team: press high, something that had gotten us a lot of results in the past, and after the ejection, they played farther back. In attack, I thought we had a great game, we found the space and had a lot of chances on goal and that was also positive.”

On how the team has had good and poor games:

“The truth is I don’t know what to tell you. We try every game to do the best that we can and play in the best form possible. Sometimes, we can, sometimes not. Sometimes, teams are very strong at home and that influences games. We’re not finding that consistency that we need that we had a few months ago and that led us to fight at the top of the conference. Now, we’re trying to find that consistency again and get to first place.”

On how the team is dealing with so many injuries:

“We have many players injured. I think we have 10 guys injured. Sometimes, we don’t complete the 18-man roster. It’s difficult. Our main players are out, so it makes it complicated. Today, we had to play a back three because we didn’t have any more defenders. We didn’t have someone to play left back in a four-man backline. They are complications that come up and we try to circumvent them the best we can. Sometimes, things go well and sometimes they don’t.”

On winning ‘despite the injuries and Pity Martinez and Eric Remedi not starting’:

“Yes, they’re important players, but with all the games they need to rest, otherwise, they run the risk of injury. This happens on every team. Today, (Mauro) Manotas and (Romell) Quioto were on the bench. The reality is that there are a lot of games in a row that make teams need to rotate.”

On the next game against D.C. ‘being an important one’:

“Yes, obviously. We have played one less game than Philadelphia, so it’s important that we have another home game Sunday to win and try to close that difference to stay close, and when we make up that game, we can pass them.”

Houston Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera

On takeaways from the game:

“Listen, we need to be more conscious. The idea was to stop the goals. We tried to be solid. We put eight guys, nine guys behind the ball just to be sure that we defend better. It is difficult, of course, when you have a red card five minutes into the game. But even though it was challenging, we could defend better. Today we didn’t do it well and there were just too many possibilities for them. We made individual mistakes so easily that cost us too many goals. It is a tough moment for us. I spoke with the guys. It is my responsibility, but I want them to forget, to leave everything behind, and hopefully, we realize that this is on us, the players and us, the coaching staff, to make sure that we change this. We can change this, but there has to be a better first defending mentality and then more discipline in all aspects. Now, I apologize to the fans, the city of Houston because this is not the team that we have to present. Now, we have three days to gather together and put ourselves together and to start looking to change our mentality and our future.”

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